The meeting focused on the benefits and methods to involve citizens and stakeholders in the preparation of the climate adaptation plans the municipalities have to prepare by the end of 2013.
The Government’s instructions for climate change adaptation plans calls for involvement of stakeholders and citizens in a dialogue about priorities for the effort. At the information meeting municipal politicians and officials discussed how it practically can be done in a positive and effective way.
How The Danish Board of Technology approaches involvement
Bjørn Bedsted, Project Manager at the Danish Board of Technology introduced how DBT work on involving citizens and stakeholders in matters of climate adaptation. He characterized the processes as comprehensive and with great value for the citizens. The DBT has 10 years of experience with this kind of involvement processes about climate change issues.
The processes are about making political and technical choices. The citizens and stakeholders have to have the opportunity to participate in the process of ideas and plan preparation before the final decisions are made by politicians.
The participants debated on how to handle views and interests that are diametrically opposed. One participant furthermore saw a challenge in letting the citizens know that they alone are responsible to ensure their houses for climate changes. The participants concluded that involving citizens and stakeholders on matter on climate adaptation can increase local knowledge, the solutions will get comprehensive and long-lasting, the responsibilities becomes clearer and an active citizenship is ensured among the citizens.